Healthy and biodiverse edible cities: Cluster-randomized study on the effects of biodiverse community gardens on biodiversity and adult health
Living in the city is associated with numerous health risks. Examples include air pollution, urban heat islands, lack of open spaces for physical activity, loneliness, and alienation from nature. Observational studies suggest that biodiverse community gardens with wildflower meadows or pollinator-friendly hedgerows can reduce health risks by helping to regulate the climate, improve air quality, and promote contact with nature. However, there is a lack of sound data to support the wider use of these gardens.
The HEBEDI project aims to fill this gap and, as part of a cluster-randomized study, is investigating
(1) the effect of biodiversity in community gardens on physical, mental, and social health by comparing biodiversity-rich community gardens with less biodiverse community gardens. Furthermore
(2) mechanisms of action as well as barriers and conducive contextual factors are will be investigated and
(3) a practice-oriented concept to support the implementation of biodiversity-rich community gardens in municipalities will be developed.
As one of the first intervention studies in the context of biodiverse community gardens, the research project contributes to the fundamental understanding of the health effects of biodiversity and thus complements the results of numerous observational studies. The modular structure of the community gardens and the accompanying development of an implementation concept are also intended to promote the implementation of species-rich community gardens in municipalities with different socio-spatial structures and thus make a contribution to prevention and health promotion.